UPSC Syllabus |UPSC Civil Services Exam 2021 Syllabus Download

On this page, you can read about the Civil Service exam pattern and UPSC syllabus. 

UPSC civil services exam 2021 syllabus

Abraham Lincoln wrote,

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”.

So, as per the above saying by Lincoln, an aspirant needs to know the complete UPSC Syllabus inside out i.e. sharpening their tools, to start the preparation. IAS Syllabus should be in the aspirant’s head like a mind map. It will help the aspirant in several ways;

  • It helps an aspirant in keeping preparation on the right track. Sometimes, beginners start to over-read the subjects i.e. reading the topics beyond the scope of the UPSC exam. 
  • Current Affairs is an important part of UPSC preparation. However, sources are plenty for it. Even in newspapers, all articles are not relevant for the Civil services exam. Thus, the UPSC civil services exam syllabus sets the boundaries within which, an aspirant has to prepare.
  • It helps in organizing the notes for revision. Due to the vast scope of the UPSC Syllabus, an aspirant can end up with a pile of notes, if the reading material is not divided into topics and sub-topics. Thus, dividing every reading material into topics and sub-topics help in organizing the revision material.  
  1. UPSC Civil Services (Preliminary) Exam – Objective pattern
  2. UPSC Civil Services (Mains) Exam – Descriptive pattern
  3. Personal Interview

Stage 1: UPSC Civil Services (Preliminary) Exam

SUBJECT

MARKS

MARKS PER QUESTION

DURATION

 

PAPER – I GENERAL STUDIES

200

2 MARKS (100 QUESTIONS)

2 HOURS

PAPER – II CIVIL SERVICE APTITUDE TEST (CSAT)

200

2.5 MARKS (80 QUESTIONS)

2 HOURS

There are two papers at the preliminary stage of the UPSC IAS exam.
  • One conducted in the morning (General studies (GS) paper-I)
  • The other in the afternoon (Civil Service Aptitude Test (CSAT)).
  • Both the exams have 1/3rd deduction for marking wrong answers (0.666 in GS and 0.83 in CSAT) and there is no deduction if the question is not answered (i.e. left out)
  • Both the exam marks are only for qualifying for Mains Stage and marks are not included in the final mark list.
UPSC prelims syllabus – General Studies

The General studies part of the exam will test the General Awareness of a candidate in a various domain such as History, Polity, Economy, Geography, Environment, Science and Technology, International Relations, and Current events.

  • Current events of national and international importance.
  • History of India and Indian National Movement.
  • Indian and World Geography-Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India and the World.
  • Indian Polity and Governance -Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.
  • Economic and Social Development-Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.
  • General issues on Environmental ecology, Bio-diversity, and Climate Change – that do not require subject specialization.
  • General Science.
   UPSC Prelims Syllabus – CSAT
  • Comprehension;
  • Interpersonal skills including communication skills;
  • Logical reasoning and analytical ability;
  • Decision making and problem-solving;
  • General mental ability;
  • Basic numeracy (numbers and their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level),
  • Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. — Class X level);

Stage 2: UPSC Civil Services (Mains) Exam

The successful candidates from the Preliminary exam are allowed to write the Mains exam. The Mains exam of the UPSC tests the student’s in-depth knowledge and ability to present instantly. The paper duration is just 3 hours. Other than writing speed, the ability to perform under pressure is analysed in this exam. 

There are 9 papers in the UPSC Mains Exam:

PAPER

TOPIC

MARKS

Paper – A

Indian Language (Any of the language mentioned in 8th schedule)

300

Paper – B

English

300

Paper – I

Essay

250

Paper – II

General Studies – I (Indian Heritage & Culture, History & Geography of the World & Society)

250

Paper – III

 

General Studies – II (Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice & International Relations)

250

Paper – IV

 

General Studies – III (Technology, Economic Development, Biodiversity, Security & Disaster Management)

250

Paper – V

 

General Studies – IV (Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude)

250

 

Paper – VI

 

Optional Subject – Paper I

250

 

Paper – VII

 

Optional Subject – Paper II

250

 

Few important points to consider

  • Candidates can write Paper I to Paper VII in English or any of the languages mentioned in the 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution.
  • Paper I to Paper VII will be taken for evaluation only if the candidate obtained 25% of the marks in Paper A and Paper B.
  • There are 48 Optional Subjects in the UPSC exam. The candidate has to select any one subject among them. Two papers (Paper VI and Paper VII) will be conducted from that for 250 marks each.

Languages mentioned in 8th Schedule of Indian Constitution:

(1) Assamese, (2) Bengali, (3) Gujarati, (4) Hindi, (5) Kannada, (6) Kashmiri, (7) Konkani, (8) Malayalam, (9) Manipuri, (10) Marathi, (11) Nepali, (12) Oriya, (13) Punjabi, (14) Sanskrit, (15) Sindhi, (16) Tamil, (17) Telugu, (18) Urdu (19) Bodo, (20) Santhali, (21) Maithili and (22) Dogri.

UPSC Mains Syllabus :

  • UPSC Mains GS 1
  • UPSC Mains GS 2
  • UPSC Mains GS 3
  • UPSC Mains GS 4

UPSC Syllabus for Genral Studies Paper – I (To download Pdf: Click here)

(For topic-wise segregation of GS 1 - Click Here)

INDIAN HERITAGE AND CULTURE, HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY OF THE WORLD AND SOCIETY

  • Art & Culture: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.
  • Modern History: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues. The Freedom Struggle — its various stages and important contributors/contributions from different parts of the country.
  • Post-Independence: Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
  • World History: History of the world will include events from 18th century such as industrial revolution, world wars, redrawal of national boundaries, colonization, decolonization, political philosophies like communism, capitalism, socialism etc.— their forms and effect on the society.
  • Indian Society: Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India. Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies. Effects of globalization on Indian society. Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
  • Physical Geography: Salient features of world’s physical geography.
  • Human and Economic Geography: Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent); factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India).
  • Geophysical Phenomena: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

UPSC Syllabus for General Studies Paper II (To download: Click here)

(For topic-wise segregation of GS 2 - Click Here)

GOVERNANCE, CONSTITUTION, POLITY, SOCIAL JUSTICE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS.

  • Indian Constitution and Polity: Indian Constitution—historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
  • Functions and responsibilities of the Union and the States, issues and challenges pertaining to the federal structure, devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
  • Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
  • Comparison of the Indian constitutional scheme with that of other countries.
  • Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these.
  • Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.
  • Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
  • Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.
  • Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
  • Governance: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • Development processes and the development industry —the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
  • Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
  • Role of civil services in a democracy.
  • Social Justice: Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
  • Issues relating to poverty and hunger.
  • International Relations: India and its neighbourhood- relations.
  • Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
  • Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
  • Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

UPSC Syllabus for General Studies Paper III (To download: Click here)

(For topic-wise segregation of GS III- Click Here)

TECHNOLOGY, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, BIO DIVERSITY, ENVIRONMENT, SECURITY AND DISASTER MANAGEMENT

  • Economic development: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.
  • Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
  • Government Budgeting.
  • Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country, – different types of irrigation and irrigation systems storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce and issues and related constraints; e-technology in the aid of farmers.
  • Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
  • Food processing and related industries in India- scope’ and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.
  • Land reforms in India.
  • Effects of liberalization on the economy, changes in industrial policy and their effects on industrial growth.
  • Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
  • Investment models.
  • Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.
  • Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
  • Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, biotechnology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
  • Environment and Bio-diversity: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
  • Disaster Management: Disaster and disaster management.
  • Security Issues: Linkages between development and spread of extremism.
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
  • Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism.
  • Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

UPSC Syllabus for General Studies Paper IV (To download: Click here)
(For topic-wise segregation of GS IV - Click Here)

ETHICS, INTEGRITY AND APTITUDE

  • Ethics and Human Interface: Essence, determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics – in private and public relationships. Human Values – lessons from the lives and teachings of great leaders, reformers and administrators; role of family society and educational institutions in inculcating values.
  • Attitude: content, structure, function; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour; moral and political attitudes; social influence and persuasion.
  • Aptitude and foundational values for Civil Service, integrity, impartiality and non-partisanship, objectivity, dedication to public service, empathy, tolerance and compassion towards the weaker-sections.
  • Emotional intelligence-concepts, and their utilities and application in administration and governance.
  • Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.
  • Public/Civil service values and Ethics in Public administration: Status and problems; ethical concerns and dilemmas in government and private institutions; laws, rules, regulations and conscience as sources of ethical guidance; accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.
  • Probity in Governance: Concept of public service; Philosophical basis of governance and probity; Information sharing and transparency in government, Right to Information, Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct, Citizen’s Charters, Work culture, Quality of service delivery, Utilization of public funds, challenges of corruption.
  • Case Studies on above issues.
UPSC IAS Syllabus for Optional Subjects:

The UPSC Exam syllabus includes 48 optional subjects covering a wide horizon of subjects including Literature, Arts, Science, Agriculture, Etc. Candidates have to select one optional subject from the IAS syllabus and there will be two papers for 500 marks (250 marks each).

Candidates need to choose any one of the below-mentioned subjects as their optional.

Serial Number

List of optional subjects

Detailed  Syllabus

1

 

Agriculture

UPSC Syllabus for Agriculture

2

Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science

UPSC Syllabus for Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science

3

Anthropology

UPSC Syllabus for Anthropology

4

Botany

UPSC Syllabus for Botany

5

Chemistry

UPSC Syllabus for Chemistry

6

Civil Engineering

UPSC Syllabus for Civil Engineering

7

Commerce & Accountancy

UPSC Syllabus for Commerce & Accountancy

8

Economics

UPSC Syllabus for Economics

9

Electrical Engineering

UPSC Syllabus for Electrical Engineering

10

Geography

UPSC Syllabus for Geography

11

Geology

UPSC Syllabus for Geology

12

History

UPSC Syllabus for History

13

Law

UPSC Syllabus for Law

14

Management

UPSC Syllabus for Management

15

Mathematics

UPSC Syllabus for Mathematics

16

Mechanical Engineering

UPSC Syllabus for Mechanical Engineering

17

Medical Science

UPSC Syllabus for Medical Science

18

Philosophy

UPSC Syllabus for Philosophy

19

Physics

UPSC Syllabus for Physics

20

Political Science & International Relations

UPSC Syllabus for Political Science & International Relations

21

Psychology

UPSC Syllabus for Psychology

22

Public Administration

UPSC Syllabus for Public Administration

23

Sociology

UPSC Syllabus for Sociology

24

Statistics

UPSC Syllabus for Statistics

25

Zoology

UPSC Syllabus for Zoology

Serial Number

List of Literature optional subjects

Detailed  Syllabus

1

Assamese

UPSC Syllabus for Assamese

2

Bengali

UPSC Syllabus for Bengali

3

Bodo

UPSC Syllabus for Bodo

4

Dogri

UPSC Syllabus for Dogri

5

Gujarati

UPSC Syllabus for Gujarati

6

Hindi

UPSC Syllabus for Hindi

7

Kannada

UPSC Syllabus for Kannada

8

Kashmiri

UPSC Syllabus for Kashmiri

9

Konkani

UPSC Syllabus for Konkani

10

Maithili

UPSC Syllabus for Maithili

11

Malayalam

UPSC Syllabus for Malayalam

12

Manipuri

UPSC Syllabus for Manipuri

13

Marathi

UPSC Syllabus for Marathi

14

Nepali

UPSC Syllabus for Nepali

15

Oriya

UPSC Syllabus for Oriya

16

Punjabi

UPSC Syllabus for Punjabi

17

Sanskrit

UPSC Syllabus for Sanskrit

18

Santhali

UPSC Syllabus for Santhali

19

Sindhi

UPSC Syllabus for Sindhi

20

Tamil

UPSC Syllabus for Tamil

21

Telugu

UPSC Syllabus for Telugu

22

Urdu

UPSC Urdu Syllabus 

23

English

UPSC English Syllabus 

Stage 3: UPSC IAS Interview/ UPSC Personality Test

Candidates who cleared the UPSC Mains Exams will be notified and called for the UPSC Personality test.

The personality test for UPSC Exam will have 275 marks interviewed by a board appointed by UPSC. The mental qualities, analytical abilities and personal suitability of candidates will be assessed at this stage.

Final merit list:

The Final merit list will be prepared based on the UPSC Mains Exam (1750 Marks) and Personality test (275 Marks) for the total of 2025 marks. Based on the marks obtained by the candidates their cadres will be allotted

 

“>

Print Friendly and PDF